Author: H. Lewis-Foster
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/08/2015
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Drama, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance, New Adult
In the swinging Sixties, life gets rockin’ for Jeff McInnery when a new band plays at the local pub. Caught up in lead singer Danny Speed’s cool, Jeff sneaks a kiss. But being found out as homosexual could stop Danny’s hot career fast, and even land him in jail. With harsh words, Danny leaves to head for fame and fortune while Jeff starts university. On campus, Jeff meets Archie Ballatine, a history student living as openly as possible. It’s an exciting new world of sex and friendship for Jeff, but then the band comes back to town.
This got off to a rocky start but did eventually smooth out. It also grabbed my curiosity, shaking it up, and wouldn’t let go.
This starts out in the late 1950’s with Jeff’s experiences with fear, isolation, and uncertainty. My own anger at the unfairness and ill treatment were quick to rise. I know this is a reason many people don’t enjoy reading historical novels, and I understand that. For me, it’s yet another reminder about why we have to keep working.
Just like the storytelling turned around, though, so did Jeff and his circumstances, and his confidence. In other words, once he arrived in a less oppressive surrounding, his true self came to the surface, exerting itself. Still, considering the times and the illegalities that came with being gay and expressing that in any outward way, that confidence was mixed with a healthy dose of caution. Back to his true self, Jeff has a kind heart and exhibits a deep well of forgiveness, especially towards Danny.
The writing style doesn’t leave much room for the reader to work for the story. Nearly everything is spelled out and fully explained. It was sometimes awkward and bloated, while simultaneously feeling stilted and simple. This is in great contrast to the characters themselves who are anything but. In other words, characterization is definitely a highlight to this story. Most of all is Archie.
This starts out as a story about one guy becoming more confident and sure about who he is, discovering the fact that sometimes people who enter your life will change it forever. It starts out as a story about a guy getting what he wished for, only to realize that doesn’t always work out to be what you thought it would. This starts out as the story of Jeff and Danny.
It takes a heartwarming and welcome turn. This gets us back to Archie. He and Jeff are good friends, sometimes friends with benefits, without judgment, or expectations for more. Archie’s intelligent, brash, sweet, and somewhat modern self is a good match for Jeff’s also intelligent and kind-hearted personality. What will happen? Do things change for them? Between them? What does the future hold for two guys in 1960’s England?
There are some obvious plot holes, or things that can at least be described as omissions that made me give a head tilt. How did he get a newly listed phone number, one just done the week before, by someone he doesn’t even know? Where did the lube come from, especially considering his great worry about being found out? Gaps in the logic, they be.
Despite some issues in the storytelling, I really like these characters and the ending made me smile wide and let out a happy sigh. I will keep reading more from this author. 🙂
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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